Milwaukee Aprilia finish pre-season testing on a high
Autodromo Internacional do Algarve, 29 January, 2017
Milwaukee Aprilia have completed their European pre-season testing at the Portimao circuit in Portugal
Pre-season testing started earlier this week with two days at the Jerez circuit in Spain, site of the Milwaukee Aprilia official team launch and the team's first chance to run the new generation Aprilia RSV4 RF.
Rider's Eugene Laverty and Lorenzo Savadori had a busy test plan to work through this week, focusing on bike setup and verifying new parts for the Italian machine. After finishing 2nd & 4th at Jerez on Wednesday, the team headed to Portugal looking to enhance their understanding of the Aprilia and make the most of their pre-season track time. Eugene, improving greatly throughout the test period, finished Sunday in P2 with a lap of 1'42.002, up on his 1'43.478 from Saturday. Lorenzo, a strong P2 on Saturday at Portimao with a 1.43.686, ended Sunday P3 with a time of 1'42.043.
The team will now return to base to complete their preparations for the pre-race test at Phillip Island in Australia, followed by Round 1 of the 2017 WorldSBK championship.
"Today was a big improvement for us. I made good progress yesterday but I was still having to fight the bike, whereas today I was able to do a lot of laps and really get it feeling like my bike again. I feel like I can race with it now, and I felt comfortable on the race and quali tyres. It's been a very productive two days, much better than Jerez, and we made big breakthroughs to resolve the chatter I was having.
I'm feeling confident for Round 1 at Phillip Island; we have a good base to work from and the team is working really well together. It's one of my favourite tracks to ride, and with another test there I think we're in a good position to really move forward."
"It was a good day for us. I managed to do 73 laps and we have found a good direction to work in. The bike setup has got much better, and it's working well for me. I need to improve my feeling on the bike still and get a bit more confident, but I'm very happy with how the test went.
It's great for me and the team to finish in a good position here, because everyone is working well and we are very driven. I'm really excited for the season to start at Phillip Island next month. Its been great to get some good testing done on the RSV4-RF, and I think for sure we will be in a good place when we start racing.
"We've had a hectic test schedule to get through this week. The weather made things tricky for us at Jerez and Portimao, but the riders, team and Aprilia have worked incredibly hard to get through what we needed.
It's been a successful test for us and I am happy that both riders were confident enough to finish 2nd and 3rd. We couldn't ask for much more from our first experience of the 2017 RSV4-RF.
I believe Eugene and Lorenzo are in a good place to fight near the front when we start racing. We head to Phillip Island with our heads high and a positive attitude, knowing we have a bike both riders are comfortable with."